Carisbrooke Castle has stood for more than 800 years, and when King Charles I was imprisoned within its walls its place in the history books was secured. The castle is very much intact (considering it endured a siege by the French and saw off the Spanish Armada) and it’s one of the best family attractions on the Isle of Wight.
Owned by English Heritage, the castle is great fun for all ages and the resident donkeys are always pleased to see friendly faces. Once used to draw up water in the castle’s well house, the donkeys are used to demonstrate the historic tread wheel, but they spend most of their time enjoying the landscape and greeting visitors.
The Princess Beatrice Gardens have been newly landscaped and designed by TV presenter and gardener Chris Beardshaw, and they were once a secluded haven for the daughter of Queen Victoria. Their Edwardian style makes them a charming place for a wander, and thanks to the former presenter of Gardener’s World the gardens reflect the period when the princess lived at Carisbrooke Castle.
The castle housed King Charles I from 1647 – 1648 following the English Civil War, and he was caught trying to escape when he became stuck between the window bars. If you fancy playing a game of bowls as the king himself did during his captivity you can play on the lawns. This is a day out packed with history and the activities (and donkeys) keep the tales of Carisbrooke alive.